Filosofisk fredagsseminar, 19. februar 2016

-Bilde: Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne (1904-6)-

Many analytical philosophers take the existence of indeterminacy (in our knowledge, concepts or language) as the starting point of their philosophical investigations. In fact, curing such indeterminacies is often thought to be the main goal of philosophy. But what happens when the object of our theories is indeterminate? What kind of structure should the ideal epistemic connection between representation and phenomenon have when the representata is ontologically/metaphysically indeterminate?

In my talk, I will argue for two things: (1) that a proper analysis of the nature of ontological indeterminacy reveals that vagueness and indeterminacy can only be veridically represented using representations with a correspondingly indeterminate semantic content. I show this by analysing the logical structure of indeterminacy, laying bare the connections between semantic, epistemic and ontological indeterminacy, and by differentiating between indeterminate truth-values and indeterminate content. (2) Given the analysis of ontological indeterminacy presented under (1), it is clear that the traditional bias for constructing determinate theories can, in certain cases, harm the explanatory power of our theories. This is especially true in the softer social sciences and the humanities, where the phenomena we are trying to understand (morality, society, the good, beauty etc.) rarely lend themselves to simple philosophical reductions.

Tid: 19. februar 2016, kl. 18.15-20
Sted: Seminarrom 219, Georg Morgenstiernes hus
Tittel: Representing Vagueness
Foredragsholder: Tobias Alexius, ???